Monsters Blank Griffins 4-0 in Season Opener
Calvin Pickard's 37-save shutout preserved a 4-0 victory for the Lake Erie Monsters (1-0-0-0) over the Grand Rapids Griffins (0-1-0-0) on opening night of the American Hockey League season Friday in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Karl Stollery scored twice, while Kenny Ryan and Max Noreau also added goals for the Monsters. The Monsters and Griffins meet again Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Monsters home opener at Quicken Loans Arena.
Karl Stollery broke the scoreless tie for the Monsters at 12:08 of the opening period. A Mike Sgarbossa rebound was picked up by Paul Carey in the slot, and Carey dished a backhand pass to Stollery at the inner edge of the left circle. Stollery sent the puck past Petr Mrazek for his first goal of the season. Stollery scored a second goal at the 17:10 mark on a quick shot from the left point that found its way through traffic to beat Mrazek; Troy Bourke and Sam Henley assisted on Stollery's second goal of the season, which gave the Monsters a 2-0 lead through one period.
Kenny Ryan scored the lone goal in the second period, extending the Monsters lead to 3-0. Carrying the puck into the left circle on a two-on-one rush with Carey, Ryan snapped a shot just inside the far goal post at 8:06 of the middle stanza.
Max Noreau added an empty-net goal at 17:47 of the third period, assisted by Dan Maggio and Andrew Agozzino, to secure the 4-0 victory for the Monsters.
Pickard stopped 37 shots in the shutout win; he is 1-0-0 on the season. Mrazek stopped 20 of 23 shots in net for Grand Rapids; he is 0-1-0.
The Monsters host the Griffins in the home opener at The Q Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Saturday's game airs live on ESPN 850 WKNR.
NOTES: The Monsters are 1-0-0-0 against Grand Rapids this season; the two Midwest Division foes meet 10 times overall this season, and eight times before Christmas... The Monsters swept a two-game preseason set against Grand Rapids last weekend... Ryan and Noreau scored their first goals as Monsters in the win, while Henley picked up his first professional point for the Monsters... The Monsters were 3-1-0-0 against Grand Rapids last season... Pickard's shutout is his eighth in a Monsters uniform, putting him in second on the Monsters all-time shutout list... Follow the Monsters on social media @monstershockey on Twitter, at www.facebook.com/lakeeriemonsters on Facebook, and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/monstershockey.
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